May 25, 2011
Contact: Michael Gosse
, 801-756-5239 ext. 201
Timpanogos Cave Open for Tours on Friday, May 27, 2011
Timpanogos Cave National Monument has completed several maintenance and construction projects inside the caves and along the cave trail, and is now ready to welcome visitors to the caves.New electrical grounding connections and junction boxes have been installed in the cave to replace older systems that have corroded in the caves 98% humidity.The park has also placed about 250 yards of temporary barriers along the cave trail where steep cliffs created a high falling hazard risk.Permanent rock walls or hand rails will be installed at these locations in the future.
Additionally, the cave exit shelter is being extended to improve visitor safety from falling rock hazards.This project is scheduled to begin August 1, 2011.The caves and cave trail will be open to the public Friday through Sunday until October 16, 2011.Construction work on the cave exit shelter will require the cave trail to be closed Monday through Thursday.
Visitors are encouraged to start planning their visit to the caves now.The visitor center will be open daily from 7:00am to 5:30pm. through July 31.Starting August 1, the visitor center will be open daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm on Monday through Thursday, and from 7:00am to 5:30pm. on Friday through Sunday and holidays for the remainder of the season. Superintendent Denis Davis says, "Staff has worked hard to complete the critical upgrades to the cave electrical system and cave trail during this extremely wet Spring.Planned trail maintenance and construction this season are a minor inconvenience that will ensure the safety and comfort of visitors in the future.I encourage visitors to check the park website at www.nps.gov/tica often for updates, or contact the park at (801) 756-5238 with questions."
Cave tour tickets may be purchased up to thirty days in advance starting May 27 by calling the visitor center at (801) 756-5238 and using a credit card.Ticket prices are $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for juniors (ages 6-15), $3.00 for children (ages 3-5), and children 2 and under are free.Seniors (age 62 and over) with a Golden Age Passport or Senior Pass are $3.50.Cave tours are limited to 20 participants per tour.Hiking the 1.5 mile trail to the cave is considered moderately strenuous, gaining over 1,000 feet in elevation.The cave tour and hike takes approximately three hours.The cave temperature is a cool 45 degrees Fahrenheit; light jackets, plenty of drinking water and sturdy walking shoes are recommended.
Timpanogos Cave National Monument will be holding special Junior Ranger Day activities on Saturday May 29 and Monday May 31 to kick off this season's series of Junior Ranger programs.Special award certificates, pins, and patches will be available to all participants.
Timpanogos Cave will also continue its use of BATS for this season.BATS are Behind A Tour Specialists which is a program to educate youth on working in the national monument, protecting cave resources, and providing visitor services.Behind A Tour Specialists need to be 14 years of age or older, hike to the caves unescorted, and will be provided training and a uniform shirt.Youth interested in participating in the program should contact the park at (801) 756-5239.
Finally, the park will be continuing its highly successful evening programs again.Evening programs will be offered every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday evening starting May 30 from 7:00 to 8:00pm.The programs are free of charge and will be presented at the Timpanogos Cave Visitor Center, Swinging Bridge Picnic Area or Mutual Dell camp.Please contact the visitor center at (801) 756-5238 for more information about summer activities or to purchase cave tour tickets in advance of your planned visit.
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